Diego Simeone accepts his Atletico Madrid side have to beat Granada on Sunday if they wish to capitalise on Barcelona’s mini-collapse.
Barca have not won in three La Liga matches, handing Atletico the chance to join them on 76 points – for a brief period at least – before Luis Enrique’s men host Valencia in the late game.
Simeone told a news conference: “We have a very clear situation: we need to win and then wait to see what Barcelona do.
“What we can affect is beating Granada.”
Simeone was not getting over-excited by Atletico’s title push, however, and urged his players to focus ahead of the game at the Vicente Calderon.
“We live day to day, and can see the situation is changing a lot,” he added. “We don’t think beyond that but the team is strong and in a good moment. We need to use our hearts, legs and heads.”
Atletico advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League in midweek thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Barca but Simeone is adamant their continental adventures will not hamper their league form.
“We always maintain our line of work, as we did in 2014 [when Atletico won La Liga and reached the final of the Champions League]. We will compete in the Champions League until the end. But it won’t divert our attention. We will focus on improving and hope to play a good game tomorrow.”
Atletico will meet Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals which represents a “major challenge”, according to Simeone.
“We will face a strong, important rival with great history in these situations,” he said. “They have a coach who knows exactly what he wants and a team that always competes for the Champions League title.
“It will be a good game, a great opportunity and a major challenge.”